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Nigeria

ProCAT : Fight against torture

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In Nigeria, despite efforts by the federal government to reform the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the enactment of a law prohibiting acts of torture in December 2017, torture continues to be
frequently used by security officials. In Enugu State, police units have been accused of using torture as a means of interrogation.
 
In this context, ProCAT aims to reinforce and consolidate the important intervention undertaken by ASF France in the fight against torture in Nigeria since 2009. In 2019, ASF France was able to extend the project to 2 new states: Imo and Edo, thus broadening the scope of the project and reaching more victims who have had access to legal aid services.
 
As the harm suffered by victims of torture sometimes leads to their unjust conviction, the main challenge of the year 2020 is to integrate the defense of victims of torture into legal aid services in cases where
they are prosecuted for offences based on confessions obtained under torture.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • 60 cases of torture and ill-treatment will be identified and followed up with national and regional courts (ECOWAS)
  • 15 cases of persons prosecuted on the basis of confessions obtained under torture will be dealt with
  • Victims of torture and ill-treatment will be provided with legal and judicial assistance. Special attention will be paid to women and minors in detention.
  • Penalties will be imposed on the perpetrators of acts of torture and ill-treatment.
  • The population is informed of its rights and knows where to report cases of torture.

OBJECTIVES

  • Contributing to the reduction of acts of torture throughout the judicial chain
  • Improving access to justice and legal services for victims of torture
  • Strengthen the knowledge and skills of judicial authorities
  • Promote better knowledge and application of the principles of the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT)

ACTIONS IN 2020

  • Legal, technical and financial support to lawyers involved in the project to provide legal aid to persons in (pre-trial) detention or sentenced to cruelty.
  • Identification of cases of torture and ill-treatment committed against persons in detention and cases of persons prosecuted for offences based on confessions obtained under torture.
  • Legal aid service provided by a liaison lawyer in each State of intervention
  • Initiation of hierarchical or judicial remedies against the perpetrators of acts of torture
  • Recording of all cases processed to provide statistical data on the nature of cases, legal actions taken and decisions rendered by the Court
  • Communication actions on the visibility of acts of torture in order to reduce them
  • Meeting with state authorities to raise awareness of respect for laws against torture

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL PARTNERS

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Bar Association (National Bar Association - NBA) with financial support from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT), which has been supporting the project since 2014, and also from the German Federal Foreign Office.

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